Warren Foegele scored twice while Leon Draisaitl racked up a four point game to help the scorching hot Edmonton Oilers overcome a two-goal deficit for the second straight game, and rally past the Seattle Kraken, 4-2 on Thursday night at Rogers Place.
The landscape looked extremely promising for the first 20 minutes. Eeli Tolvanen and Jared McCann, two of the offensively hotter players in the Kraken lineup, each scored on breakaways to build a 2-0 lead. Brandon Tanev nearly put the Kraken up by three, missing on a late first period breakaway.
“We got them a couple of times in transition,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol.
That’s when the bottom dropped out.
"We gave them too much,” said Kraken forward Jared McCann.
“We’ve got to realize sometimes you’ve gotta play D, especially against a team like that.”
It took only 37 seconds into the second period for Foegele to bury a sharp rebound and get the Oilers on the board, followed by Draisaitl’s 22nd goal of the season, banked off traffic on a power play near the left post, with 15:22 remaining. The Kraken then blew coverage on Foegele and he scored his second of the game on a breakaway with 12:22 left, capping three goals by the Oilers in 7:01.
That left the Kraken to bluntly assess the damage.
"We need to answer the bell a little better,” said McCann. “Even when they do score, we need to have a better bump up shift.”
The night wasn’t without a pair of frustrating turns for the Kraken. Goaltender Joey Daccord, wiring another potential highlight reel play, found Alex Wennberg on an 80-foot lob up ice, who tied the game late in the period. The Oilers video coaching staff however challenged the play, overturned for offisde as Kailer Yamamoto was caught ahead of the blueline.
The Kraken still collected moments to tie the game in the third period, which went up in smoke after Zach Hyman power play goal, a trademark Oilers whip through the penalty kill structure and backdoor play to effectively seal the game with 2:38 remaining – all made possible after Yanni Gourde attempted a hit in the offensive zone on Mattias Ekholm, but left his feet, and was sent to the box for a five-minute major for charging.
The Kraken, after getting off to a blistering start on the trip and pushing their win streak to nine games in a row, have lost the last three games, split the season-long six-game trip at 3-3, and fell to three points back of the final wild card spot.
“We’ve got to get home and we don’t not a lot of time, but a day off (Friday) and try to get some bodies healed up and better,” said Hakstol.
“There’s not a lot of breathing room in this schedule, in this league.”
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Kraken got a boost in the return of Andre Burakovsky but were still missing one of their biggest linchpins, defenseman Vince Dunn, and center Matty Beniers which put them at a disadvantage facing an Oilers team that won seven of nine games previously against the Kraken, and remain the hottest team in the NHL. The circumstances demanded a lead in the period, but the real work had only just begun.
Effectively, playing against the firepower of the Oilers, the circumstances also demanded as close to mistake-free hockey as possible. The Kraken ended up trading power plays with Edmonton, who went 2-of-4, and opened the door for another mammoth game from Leon Draisaitl, who even puncutated his game-tying goal by tapping the calves of Adam Larsson after going through the Oilers bench for high-fives.
Edmonton has playing with confidence. The Kraken have been playing shorthanded. The odds weren’t great ending the six-game road trip – where now the Kraken are hanging on for any hope that Dunn can return to his massive 25 minutes role, and Beniers to his “1C” spot, with a four-game homestand opening Sunday, along with playoff odds that shrink with each growing loss.